The painting Checkmate used to hang in the Louvre in Paris.
A man is playing chess with the devil. It looks like the devil has won.
We don’t know how much the painter Friedrich Moritz August Retszch understood about chess. Paintings don’t usually come with written explanations.
Even so, a legend has attached itself to this one.
A chess grand master visited the Louvre and studied the painting.
Although the man in the painting appeared to be losing, although an observant, forlorn angel stood by mourning another lost soul, and although Satan was congratulating himself for a win, the chess board told another story.
The man still had a move to make, and that move could lead him to victory.
When the Israelites had their backs against the Red Sea, God had another move.
When Jesus was dead, and evil appeared to have won, God had another move.
God will always have another move.
He may appear to have lost, but God has already won.
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Some of us get more of it than others. None of us knows exactly when it will end for us. We complain that there is not enough of it. Or that there is too much between where we are and what we want.
Some smart people even say it’s an illusion. But illusory or real, it binds us all.
Time never seems to do what we want it to do. But how to use it is up to us–even in the worst of circumstances.
Natan Sharansky spent nine years in Soviet prisons and camps. He endured many days in a punishment cell–with little food or warmth. He endured hunger strikes that weakened his heart.
He endured. Continue reading “Time: The Giver of Choices”